Friday, June 26, 2015

Rare copy of first Bible printed in English under the hammer for £35k

One of the first Bibles printed in English, a rare William Tyndale’s translation, nearly 500 years old is to be sold at auction at Sotheby on July 15. It is expected to reach around £35,000!

It was first printed in 1537, 11 years after Tyndale’s first translation and a year after Tyndale’s execution. Namely, he was arrested in Antwerp, accused of heresy and strangled in 1536. All copies that could be found in Britain were burned.

The Bible found its way to the hands of a student in 1960s who found it in a local Cambridge shop (and actually paid 25 shillings for it!)

According to Peter Selly, the auctioneers’ senior books and manuscripts manager, the owner of the Bible just recently realized the true value of the book!

    It's a remarkable thing to see the common tongue being deployed in this way. It opens the Bible up for the first time ... and a lot of these phrases would become embedded in the English language.

    It's not just the religious aspect, it's the contribution to the English language. A lot of people have said 'no Tyndale, no Shakespeare'. He transformed and had a great gift for the English language.

– Peter Selly, Sotheby's


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